Nissan Motors of Japan announced it is working on a new lithium-ion battery that can double the power range of its Leaf model electric car set to go on sale next year. The Leaf has a power range of 160 kilometers on a single charge.
The Nissan LEAF is an electric car announced
by Nissan in 2009. It is expected to be marketed in North America, Europe, and Japan, beginning in late 2010. Time magazine called it one of the 50 best inventions of 2009
Japan's third largest car maker, Nissan aims to produce the long range battery to power electric cars that the company will produce commercially in 2015.
The company estimates that the battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium-ion ones to produce, as it contains only a small amount of expensive cobalt, according to Japan's business daily Nikei.
Ahead of last month's Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn
said his company aimed to make rechargeable batteries for electric cars a "core business" as he predicted a bright future for zero-emission vehicles.
In 1997, Toyota Motors of Japan started producing hybrid cars with the inroduction of its Prius Hybrid that makes use conventional fuel and electric power. Prius is now sold in 40 countries worldwide and has gained acceptance from car users because of its reliability and fuel efficiency.
Because of rising cost of oil in the world market and its effect on the environment and climate change, automotive manufacturers particularly Japanese automakers have introduced alternative cars that are battery powered.